Thursday, July 19, 2007

Fairy Pitta fledgling monitoring, update on the individual photographed

On July 2 we posted a brief article about Monitoring of Fairy Pitta nests and the movements of fledglings. An update on the fledgling shown in the photos used in that post has been received. The nestling fledged on June 12 and was captured by researchers just minutes after fledgling. The youngster was well above the average size of a fledgling at that age and was therefore fitted with a radio transmitter for monitoring.

This fledgling was observed many times over a period of three weeks within the area it had been banded. It was feeding well on earthworms by itself. After three weeks it almost fell pray to a Crested Serpent Eagle Spilornis cheela but successfully escaped unharmed. That same day the signal was lost. It would seem that the incident caused the bird to move to a different area. If the bird had been caught by a raptor the radio transmitter would more than likely have been recovered as they have been with other fledglings that have fallen pray to raptors. Movements before migration are common so its disappearance from the area can be seen as normal. Lets pray he makes it back next summer and that his leg bands are observed by researchers once again in the Huben area for many years to come.

Fledgling with transmitter as shown in Monitoring of Fairy Pitta nests and the movements of fledglings.

Other photos of the fledgling being fitted with a transmitter.

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